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Commission on European Affairs

Commission Members

Svein Johannessen - Norway, chair
Emilio Perucca - Italy, secretary
Meir Bialer - Israel, treasurer

Michel Baulac - France
Christian Elger - Germany
Alla Guekht - Russia
Kristina Malmgren, Secretary, European Advisory Council (EAC) - Sweden
Federico Vigevano, Chair, European Advisory Council (EAC) - Italy


Santiago Arroyo, Subcommission on Bursaries, Madrid - Spain
Antonio Gil-Nagel, Subcommission on Congress Evaluation, Madrid - Spain
Peter Wolf, Chair, European Epilepsy Academy (EUREPA) - Germany
Martin Brodie, ILAE Regional representative - Scotland
Giuliano Avanzini, ILAE President - Italy


To stimulate and coordinate all aspects of epileptology across Europe, including organising the European Congress on Epileptology


Bursaries, Madrid congress
Chair: Santiago Arroyo
Congress evaluation, Madrid
Chair: Antonio Gil-Nagel
Central/Eastern Europe
Chair: Alla Guekht
Working Group on Development of Quality Care
Chair: Peter Wolf


9 March 2002, ILAE Office, Brussels
27 July 2002, San Servolo, Venice
10 October 2002, Madrid

Reports and Guidelines

  • Steps Taken to Improve Quality of Scientific Presentations at European Epilepsy Congresses. Congress Evaluation Report from Madrid is in progress.
  • Bursary Commission Report. The Commission on European Affairs had established a bursary fund of EUR 50,000; 58 bursary applications were received from 31 countries, and the available budget permitted the funding of all applications. The Bursary Award Symposium was very successful and well organised.


Subcommission on European Guidelines (1998-2001).
Flink R, Pedersen B, Guekht AB, Malmgren K, Michelucci R, Neville B, Pinto F, Stephani U, Özkara C. Guidelines for the use of EEG: commission report. Commission on European Affairs: Subcommission on European Guidelines. Acta Neurol. Scand. 2002; 106: 1-7.

Malmgrem K, Flink R, Michelucci R, Neville B, Pedersen B, Pinto F, Stephani U, Özkara C. The provision of Epilepsy Care across Europe (submitted).

Summary of Activities

European Congresses
2002. The 5th European Congress took place in Madrid, with Martin Brodie and Antonio Russi co-chairing the International organising committee and José Serratosa chairing the Scientific Advisory Committee. There were Bursary Awards (CEA fund of EUR 50,000) and one European Epileptology Award (EUR 10,000, funded by CEA). A successful congress with more than 3000 participants.

2004. The 6th European Congress will be held in Vienna. Svein Johannessen and Gerhard Bauer are co-chairing the International Organising Committee and Christoph Baumgartner is chairing the Scientific Advisory Committee.

2006. The 7th European Congress will be held in Helsinki.

Other Activities

European Advisory Council (EAC) (Chair: Federico Vigevano) - report following.
European Epilepsy Academy (EUREPA) (Chair: Peter Wolf) - report following.
The Subcommission on Central/Eastern Europe. A plan is set out in areas related to education, quality care, and research.

Working Group on Development of Quality of Care. The initial task is to contact national European ILAE chapters enquiring about availability and/or needs of tertiary care centers, then evaluate responses, consult with relevant third parties and develop a project aimed at establishing a model tertiary care epilepsy center or unit in an under-served European country or region.

EURAP. THE CEA supports the international Registry aimed at assessing the comparative teratogenic risks of prenatal exposure to different antiepileptic drugs. The project is chaired by T. Tomson. Over 2,000 pregnancies have been registered to date.

Plans for 2003-2004

Final evaluation of organisation and scientific presentations in Madrid.
Continue with plans for the Vienna congress.
Establish a system for CME credits.
Continue with plans for subcommissions activities.

Date: 28 November 2002
Report by: Svein I. Johannessen, Chair


Three Executive Board meetings were held during this year. The Executive, which had conducted the Academy since 1996, met twice: on 22 June in Frankfurt, and on 5 October in Madrid. Following the elections, the new Executive had a constituting meeting in Madrid on 6 October.

Important resolutions taken this year were the acceptance of transitional rules for certification, and the decision to develop curricula for professions allied with medicine (PAMs). For the latter project, a steering committee is being established to which the European IBE chapters by invitation delegated two members, Eva Johnsen (Norway) and Mike Glynn (Ireland).

The elections in Madrid were conducted by the three ex officio members of the Executive (i.e., the Chair of the EAC and the Chair and Secretary of the CEA), they being the only three persons not eligible. They invited the members to nominate candidates for the five offices. A surprisingly broad response indicated the high interest in the Academy's agenda. Candidates who stood for election had the possibility to present themselves to the General Assembly on 5 October in Madrid where the elections took place.

The elections resulted in the following new Executive Board:
Chair: Peter Wolf - Germany
Vice Chairs: Giuliano Avanzini - Italy, and Martin Brodie - Scotland
Secretary General: Janet Mifsud -Malta
Treasurer: Michel Baldy-Moulinier - France
Ex officio members:
Federico Vigevano - Italy
Svein Johannessen - Norway
Emilio Perucca - Italy

A new Scientific Advisory Board also had to be elected. A reduction in size had been decided by the Executive. The members of the old SAB were informed about this decision, and asked if they desired to stand for reelection. To the names of those who responded in the positive, nominations by the Executive Board and the General Assembly were added, whereafter 16 candidates stood for voting. The vote resulted in a SAB of the following 10 members:
Athanasios Covanis - Greece
Walter van Emde Boas - Netherlands
Alla Guekht - Russia
Günter Krämer - Switzerland
Jerzy Majkowski - Poland
Kristina Malmgren - Sweden
Cigdem Özkara - Turkey
Perrine Plouin - France
José Serratosa - Spain
Chahnez Triki -Tunisia

At a brief constituting meeting in Madrid, the new SAB elected Walter van Emde Boas as their Speaker.

Membership: The elections attracted several European ILAE chapters to join the Academy, and now 33 of the 37 European chapters are members. Individual membership increased to 272, mostly in response to the educational seminars in Madrid.

Courses: The educational programme in 2002 consisted of 5 courses organised by Eurepa and 19 other certified courses. We held educational courses both at the IBE congress "Epilepsy and Society" in Lloret de Mar, and at the ILAE congress in Madrid. The latter comprised two series of breakfast seminars in English and a half-day course in Spanish.

Trainers: The third Train-the-Trainers course was held in Bethel on 10-13 January with 16 participants from 12 countries. Charlotte Dravet and Perrine Plouin received the trainer status in recognition of their longstanding commitment to epileptological education. With these additions, we have now 47 certified trainers from 23 countries and covering 20 languages. Recently, the trainers were asked if they were also available as tutors for the development of distance education, and the answers already received indicate that many of them are indeed willing to participate in this new project.

Regions: The development of epilepsy academies in other regions is underway. Their relation to Eurepa needs careful consideration.

Asia/Oceania is at present the only region where the regional commission has already decided to establish an academy. A subcommission has been set up to work out the details.

Meantime, a francophone section of Eurepa was founded in Montpellier on 11 November 2002, and a Comité d'organisation was appointed consisting of the following colleagues:
Michel Baldy-Moulinier - France
Guy Farnarier - France
Lamine Guèye - Senegal
Najib Kissani - Morocco
Baba Koumaré - Mali
Perrine Plouin - France
Chahnez Triki - Tunisia
The primary objective of this section is the development of quality education in the French-speaking countries of North and West Africa. This should be considered as a first step in a development that will hopefully lead up to an African Epilepsy Academy.

Peter Wolf, Chair

European Advisory Council

Federico Vigevano, Chair
Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital
00165 Rome
Phone: 0039-06-68592262
Fax: 0039-06-68592463

Dr. Kristina Malmgren, Secretary
Epilepsy Research Group
Institute of Clinical Neuroscience
Sahlgrenska University Hospital
SE- 413 45 Göteborg
Phone: +46 31 342 27 63
Fax: +46-31 342 24 67

From 2001 until 2005, EAC will be presided over by Federico Vigevano as Chair, and Kristina Malmgren as Secretary. It is their intention to continue with the projects begun by Svein Johannessen and Peter Halasz.

EAC intends to involve the European Chapters to a greater extent in the organisation of the European Congress and to ensure that the conferences reflect the expectations of the majority of delegates. To this end, all the European Chapters were invited to submit proposals for the main topics for the next European Congress in Vienna. Not many proposals were received, but they were useful for selecting the themes.
The EAC Meeting was held on 10 October in Madrid, in the presence of delegates from twenty European countries.

EAC is part of the European Triangle and, therefore, works closely with the Commission on European Affairs and with EUREPA. Hence, EAC supports and participates in the initiatives of these two organisations, such as the preparation of guidelines and educational programmes, directed in particular to countries in Eastern Europe, as well as multinational research projects, such as the European Pregnancy Registry (EURAP).

In preparing for this EAC meeting, the Chair contacted all the European Chapters asking for information about areas of special needs at the respective national levels as well as any perceived obstacles to European collaboration. The few answers received emphasised the needs of educational programs in addition to the economic problems in Eastern Europe and the need for more professional collaboration within Europe.

The EAC intends to follow these suggestions in order to encourage contacts among the various countries and exchange of opinions.

In the future, a regional convention of the European Chapters will be convened at each European Epilepsy Congress.

Federico Vigevano, Chair
European Advisory Council of ILAE

Kristina Malmgren, Secretary
European Advisory Council of ILAE

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